The Importance of Environment
This week, our podcast focused on creating an inviting atmosphere in our 200churches. We believe that an inviting atmosphere begins with the people who attend your church, and we outlined five steps that you can take at your own 200church that will get you started on cultivating a warm, welcoming environment wherever you are, and no matter the size of your budget.
While we start with ourselves as people whose characters, personalities, and practices are what shape the atmosphere of our services, we should also pay close attention to the overall feel of our church facilities. Environments are important and we should take time to consider the message that we're sending to people as they walk in our doors.
No matter where a church is located or how many people are attending, we should always be ready for visitors to walk into one of our services. As leaders, we're ultimately responsible for the experience that people have when they attend, and a large part of that experience is related to the environment of our church.
The longer you've been at your church, the more difficult it is to be an accurate barometer of its atmosphere. When I first came to work at the church where I now serve, I had so many ideas on how we could make a change here or there to impact the overall atmosphere in our facilities. As time has passed, however, I inevitably have lost some of my ability to recognize those areas. This happens to all of us, so here are some easy ways to get a feel for what your environment is currently like, and how to move forward.
It may sound trivial, but if our church environments are less than appealing, we reduce the likelihood of attracting and retaining new attenders. Not only that, but we're doing a disservice to the people who are currently attending our church by not working to ensure that the place where they come to worship is always inviting, welcoming, and friendly.
Here are a few final questions to ask on environment:
If you had to give bad answers to any of the above questions, what can you do about it? Who is going to address these areas? Are there leaders or volunteers who are gifted and passionate in any of these areas, to whom you could delegate some tasks? You may not need to spend much, if any, money, just a little time and energy removing the old, and straightening, cleaning, polishing, and painting what's left!
Before anyone comes to visit us, my wife and I spend some quality time picking up, cleaning up, and working to make sure that someone's visit to our home is as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. Whether it's students from our church or some friends we're having over for the first time, we know that environment is important. We understand that about our homes, but because of familiarity and shared ownership, we miss it at church. It's time we applied the same standards to our churches!
2/28/2013 04:21:23 pm
At Catalyst one day there is one particular session by Andy Stanley entitled Creating a Come and See Culture where he touches on the importance of our environments. Your environment inspection list is right on. First two questions are classic! If there's no curb appeal, no one is going to be pulling up to the curb and the appearance of your literature speaks volumes. Looking forward to listening to the podcast!
2/28/2013 05:02:50 pm
Thanks Dean - this is something we have found we have to constantly review. If you wait long enough, everything goes out of style! This is one of those things that are so spiritual, they're actually practical. :) I hope you enjoy the podcast.
8/30/2013 09:29:09 pm
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